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Thursday, October 24

Mystery Shopping Road Trip: Week 8 and 9 Recap

I have completed all shops on this route.  This last post covers 6 days of shopping and the weekend in between weeks 8 and 9.

My week began when I left Las Vegas and drove 500 miles to Farmington, NM.  I completed shops in New Mexico and Texas in this final stretch, ending in Athens, TX, which is about 75 miles southeast of Dallas.  I spent the weekend in Abilene, TX.  That was a most uneventful weekend as there is little reason for one to visit that town (no offense, Abileners).  I saw Captain Phillips and Carrie while there and dined at a restaurant I discovered while in Texas, Rosa's Tortilla Factory.  I love that place.  The prices for the Tex-Mex flavors are comparable to Taco Bell, but the food is so much better.   If you dine in, your food is served on real plates and there is a salsa bar.  Plus, every meal comes with piping hot, freshly made tortillas on the side.

While in Abilene I did replace my wheels.  I bought four aluminum wheels from a junkyard and had them installed at Wal-Mart.  I don't like investing money in the S-10, but the holes in the wheels where the lug nuts attach to the studs (basically what holds the wheels onto the truck) were worn out.

After I left Athens I drove to Tunica, where I am spending four nights before driving to Nashville for the time share shop.  In my expenses below I am including all my travel up to arrival in Tunica.  My accommodations and food in Tunica are free.  Thus far I have won a little cash so hopefully I don't spend too much on gambling while here.

Week Eight/Nine Gross:  $1886
Week Eight/Nine Expenses:  $1374
Week Eight/Nine Net Income:  $512

All my expenses are being tracked through four categories:  hotel, food, gas and other.  I spent $66 on food.  Hotel expenses were $583, just under $73 per night.  I spent $320 on gas, $11 on movies and $394 on repairs.  Hotels are much more expensive in certain parts of Texas (and Oklahoma) because of the oil boom.  It's interesting that I paid $119 for a Comfort Suites in Midland, TX when a nearly comparable room at the Quality Inn in Farmington, NM was only $47.

Soon I will post a recap of my entire trip.

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